The reemergence of a wintery blast of weather inspired to me make soup this past weekend. When it comes to beef I usually make a beef stew with red wine but decided to kick things up a notch by substituting Guinness Stout in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and turning the meal into a brothier soup since that is what is preferred by my fussy eaters. In addition to my usual soup vegetables, I added some barley for body and peas and red peppers for added color and flavor. The addition of the beer resulted in a hearty and comforting dish with a depth of flavor that is absent when using wine.
This recipe will make a reappearance in the fall since I am hoping that the weather will soon be turning too warm for hot soups. In the meantime, for those of you in cooler climates, try this. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.
GUINNESS STOUT BEEF & BARLEY SOUP
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound stew beef, cubed into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
10 baby red potatoes, cubed
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
2 bottles Guinness Stout
3 cups beef broth
3/4 cup pearl barley
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup baby peas
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is seared and brown on all sides.
- De-glaze the pan with the sherry. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and potatoes. Stir to combine.
- Add the stout, broth, barley, bay leaves, thyme and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the beef is tender and the vegetables can easily be pierced with a fork.
- Adjust seasonings. Add the red pepper and peas and cook until heated through.
The soup can be made ahead of time then reheated when ready to serve. I like to make it the day before I want to serve it so the flavors have time to meld. If possible, add the peas and red pepper right before serving since you don’t want them to over cook and turn mushy.